Monday, May 21, 2018

Infinite Sky court case at University of West England this week!

Was it self-defence or murder?

Those of you who have read Infinite Sky will know that the book starts and ends with the death of a teenage boy close to Iris Dancy. The big question, as the story unfolds, is which of Iris's beloved boys dies: Trick, the Irish Traveller whose family have set up camp in the Dancy's paddock, and with whom she recently shared her first kiss, or Sam, her adored but troubled older brother, who hasn't been the same since their mum, Anna, left to go travelling in Tunisia.

This week, at the University of the West of England (UWE) the story of Infinite Sky will be brought to life, as Law students and tutors, professional actors and a judge, create a mock murder trial, for educational purposes, built around this scenario at the climax of Infinite Sky.

In the story, set one hot summer in the Midlands, Iris Dancy was witness to a fight that caused the death of one of the two boys that she loves most in the world. (I'm trying hard not to give spoilers here for those who haven't yet read the novel.) This week, at UWE, the surviving boy will be tried for the murder of the deceased, giving students a chance to cut their teeth in Criminal Law.

UWE students preparing the defendant's case.
Poor Iris! She will be called to give evidence, as will her father, Thomas, though they don't see events in the same light. Dean, Punky and Leanne, who all witnessed the fight, will be called to give evidence too. I wonder if they'll tell the truth?

If the accused is found guilty of murder, then he will face a life sentence in prison. If he is found to have been acting in self-defence, then he could be acquitted. So it's pretty high stakes in the courtroom.

The trial takes place this Thursday and Friday at UWE, presided over by a professional judge, and the students have been preparing for weeks, under the excellent tutelage of my dear friend James Lloyd, and Liz Cunningham, both ex-criminal law Barristers, now Senior Lecturers in Law at UWE.

The jury will come back with their verdict on Friday, and I can't wait. Between you and me, I hope the accused walks.

I will be in the public gallery channelling Anna - Iris's and Sam's Mum - and furiously making notes for a new story. More on that later...

I will also be tweeting about it (though my inner author insists on maintaining high spoiler alert, which might make those tweets a little mysterious) and for those who have already read the novel, and are interested to follow the trial, you can also follow @liz_cunningham3, @DelythAJames and @WhiteZoey on Twitter.

The mock trial is open for all to attend. Venue: 2X112, Bristol Business School, Frenchay Campus, UWE Bristol. 24 May 10am - 5pm and 25 May 9:30am - 2:30pm


  1. In America we have capital punishment which is awful!

    1. Yes, a whole different ball game to be facing that. It was tense enough with only time lost hanging in the balance...